“Huh? What’s that you say?”
Oh. You ask how I, Brooke, am qualified to speak on this topic.
Simple. I’m an AWESOME wife!
“Huh? What’s that you say?”
Oh, you know me personally and highly doubt that’s true.
Shhh…we’ll keep this our little secret.
Oh, you don’t know me at all, so the verdict is still in the air.
Actually…We’re all right! And I’ll tell you why.
I’ve been a Good Wife for 13 years. Yep. Patting myself on the back as we speak.
And, technically, I’ve been a good woman for Rich for 16 years. Yep, pretty much giving myself an award at this point. Yes, it’s a trophy that I made myself. Do you have a problem with that? I don’t. I have a whole shelf of self-made trophies with my accolades on them:
My shelf is full…or is it me? Full of it, eh?!
Okay—to be honest, I am a Good Wife. Sometimes I am a Great Wife. Sometimes I am an Awesome Wife.
And sometimes I am a very Poor Wife. But I don’t put that trophy on the shelf 😉
In my 13 years of marriage, this is what I’ve learned about being a Good Wife:
1. Respect. Men crave respect. If you ever have the opportunity to read The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman with your spouse, it’s likely that your husband’s love languages will fall under 1 of 2 categories…or both of them: Physical Touch (duh?!) and Words of Affirmation.
You see, men have an innate need to be affirmed—for their strength, for their ability to take care of you, for their innovative (even if they drive you crazy) ways, for their senses of adventure, for their instinct to protect (even if sometimes they push you in the way of the charging dog—oh, is that only Richard?).
Words of Respect. Respect shown in public. Respect shown in private. Appreciation for what they do with words that speak it and actions that show it.
Respect is all-encompassing and is very important.
And it’s something that we, as women, sometimes overlook. After all, we do so many things without a thank you or a notice. And we do it because we are women—and we roar! Key words: we are women…we are not men.
And men appreciate your respect—publicly and privately. And, for many of them, you show them respect by how you treat them in public. How you speak to them in public. And how you respond to them in public.
But it’s not just public. It’s privately, too. In your own home, around your children, or even when alone with your husband, men appreciate words of encouragement and honor and appreciation.
We can take a look at men and see hardened bodies and stellar looks and charming personalities combined with flattering actions. Perhaps you don’t—perhaps your main man is squishy and cuddly like a bear. Regardless of your main squeeze’s outer image, image is still external. Internally, a man thrives off of how you speak of him, to him, and around him. He takes great pleasure in how you treat him—in public and in your own home.
Here is a quote from the site 5 Love Languages that emphasizes what I just stated:
One of the most common complaints men make in my office is: “Dr. Chapman, in my work I am respected. People come to me for advice. But at home, all I get is criticism.” What she considers suggestions, he reads as criticism. Her efforts to stimulate growth have backfired.
Give him praise. The fastest way to influence a husband is to give him praise. Praise him for effort, not perfection. You may be asking, But if I praise him for mediocrity, will it not stifle growth? The answer is a resounding “No”. Your praise urges him on to greater accomplishments. The 5 Love Languages
So, Ladies…it may seem like The Impossible Task to you. But it’s really not. Respect makes a huge difference in your marriage, in your home, and in your lives—together and as a family. It also teaches your children something extremely valuable: that you value your husband. That you value his role in your family. That you value your relationship. That you value the circle that makes you a family. And they, your very own children, grow to show the same respect.
What do you mean?
What do I mean? It’s simple—bring spice to your life. In public and in private.
No…don’t go around groping your husband in public. That’s not roar, that’s humiliation and discomfort for all those around you.
BUT—do publicly acknowledge your attraction to your husband. Perhaps a swat on the backside.
Perhaps a roar as he’s passing by. Or a hubba hubba.
Perhaps a wink in public. Or a handhold. Or an arm stroke.
Perhaps a kiss on the cheek.
Or planting one on the lips!
Oooh, boy! I could go on.
“I love you” as he’s leaving—or a “Looking good, baby!” as he is walking away.
There is such a thing as overdoing it. But there is also such a thing as under-doing it. And, unfortunately, most of us tend to under do it rather than over do it … or do it at all.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with “Roaring” in public over your spouse. You married him…Remind the world why!
At home-around the kids—completely keep the roar on! It’s so important for your kids to know that not only are you in the same house, but you are on the same team. That you love your spouse and that your spouse continues to be the apple of your eye. Hold hands, kiss, hug, love, and play (only appropriately) with your spouse in front of your kids. It gives your children an unbelievable sense of security to know that Mommy and Daddy not only LOVE each other but LIKE each other too. Too often we tell our children we “love” our husband, but then we don’t act like we “like” him. Love and Like your husband in your home. It does a family good.
As for privately when kids are not around—Well, I can recommend a book given to us, “Sheet Music” by Dr. Kevin Leman. Let me tell you…RRRRROOOOAAAR! It’s a great book. Check it out. And I’ll leave private to you.
Now, mind you, in our home it’s a two-way street. My hubby is AWESOME at helping out in and around the house and with the kids. And, when I am pregnant (and he is actually around), I sometimes put my feet up, sip my coffee, and let him be full-on Cinderella.
But he still appreciates tremendously when I make him dinner, get him a drink, bring him a movie he has been wanting to watch, tidy the house, plan a date, or play a game…
We’ve all heard the expression, “A man’s home is his castle.” Well, it’s true. It’s where he feels most settled. And that is the way it should be. You want to make sure that your home together is where he most loves to be. With you. Your kids. In your home. Together as one.
It’s so important to make sure that “his castle is your castle and together you’ll be”.
(poster from Unveiled Wife Facebook)
I know marriage is hard—but as I told a girlfriend once, “We work hard in school. We work hard in our jobs. We work hard raising our children. Why is it, then, when it comes to our marriage that we forget that it requires hard work too?”
Fairy tales do come true…but then the book ends and real life begins.
Believe me. I’ve lived through it. But I still 100% believe that Respect, Roar, and Service are important traits in being a Good Wife.
Hope you do too.
Now, ladies, go and make your trophy! You deserve it.
Side note: Ladies, not all men deserve respect at the moment. If you are in a relationship that is dangerous, don’t hang on my words and stick around—you need to exit and find help immediately.